In this assignment you will need to develop and produce an individual reflective portfolio for yourself. In the course of preparing the materials for this portfolio you will work with other members of your “learning set” but the final assignment which is submitted must be entirely your own work.
This process will require you to synthesise and build upon much of the information and many of the activities within the module. You will need to critically reflect upon the module and your learning. This assignment will require a high level of reflective, critical and creative thinking and input
Start working on this assignment from day one of the module. One of the assessment criteria that we shall be using is based around how much you have developed you thinking and understanding during the module.
Apart from the above, what you put in the portfolio is up to you, but do remember that you need to demonstrate achievement of the assessment criteria.
You must ensure that your work contains reference to appropriate theories and produces evidence of critical thinking and reflection on your own learning and development. Your work must be free standing and self-explanatory to the marking tutor.
This activity allows individuals to take a step back from an experience and create inferences about it in order to more fully understand its significance and meaning. By “pondering” about the learning and development going on, reflection uncovers insight and learning themes, connects your learning and performance, and yields more relevant feedback.
We all indulge in this process already, but generally at an unconscious or semi-conscious level. Many organisations and businesses do it; keen to improve their products by reflecting upon the experiences of their customers…….and keen to improve their internal (production) processes by encouraging all employees to reflect upon how they do their jobs and thus how their jobs can be improved!
In the same vein, all top sports people have to indulge in some sort of reflection upon their performance….in order to learn how to improve. If they don’t do this, they will not be at the top of their chosen sport for very long!
Practice is a necessary, but not a sufficient condition for learning: there are many examples of people repeating mistakes over and over again – we never learn from our mistakes alone, we only learn from reflecting upon our mistakes….and quite often the learning gained from our “mistakes” can be far more powerful and meaningful than learning from success.
In order to capitalise on seminar/lecture experiences as learning/development opportunities and to maximise any possible gain, it is necessary to take some time to consider and reflect on what happened in the event and turn those seminar/lecture experiences into learning/development. Kolb (1984) suggested that people learn more effectively by reviewing each occasion in which learning may take place. Schon (1987) used the phrase “reflection-in-action”.
Reflection is a key element in the learning process. It converts informal and perhaps accidental opportunities into efficient learning.
There are a variety of models and frameworks to help explain, facilitate and capture reflective learning (Kolb’s Learning Cycle, Honey & Mumford’s Learning Styles).
Review the above list of reflection questions for each seminar/lecture and choose a few to prompt your thinking rather than the entire list.
Do not be afraid to use drawings, diagrams, metaphors…..to push beyond a mere surface evaluation or chronological description of what you did.
Rather than what you did, we want to read about the impact it has had on your understanding, learning and development.
You are not expected to summarise and cover every lecture or seminar!
One approach may be to pursue and explore three themes from the module, which may incorporate a mix of lectures or seminars or both?
It is essential you start working on this assignment early on in the module. It is almost impossible to write reflectively about your experiences and learning retrospectively. It will be important to capture it in the “here and now”.
It is always difficult to put a word limit on Portfolio’s, they just don’t lend themselves to that type of approach. It is suggested that 3,000 words is reasonable. We are more than happy to review your progress during specific seminars which have been put aside for that.
Students will be assessed against the following criteria:
Tutors are unable to accept coursework directly. All assignments must be submitted electronically through the “Submit Your Work” (Turnitin) button on NILE. ALL STUDENTS MUST KEEP A COPY OF ASSIGNMENTS.
The two main text books are those shown in bold above. However, please note that, the above is not an exhaustive list. During the module other sources may be also be used. You are also encouraged to do your own research and include other sources.